She shoots Glock, you know

LD writes: Based on your column, would you be willing to go so far as to divorce Space Bunny in the legal/state sense to uphold the principles you state in your column? Had you thought it through all the way at the time, would you have legally married her or just had a church wedding? Of course that may have been exactly what you did and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

While I could care less about the state’s opinion of my marital status, I am extremely dubious that Space Bunny would be quite as nonchalant about it – just asked her, in fact, she says forget it. She’s fairly radical herself, though, and says that had we thought about it beforehand, it wouldn’t have bothered her in the least to bag the license. I have a close Christian friend who’s getting married this summer and they’re not bothering to get the state’s approval.

To be honest, I’d never thought about the matter until the whole gay marriage debate started. That got me wondering why the state was involved.

Mailvox: conservatives get radical

DH writes in response to today’s column: Amen, brother. I’d be curious to know what kind of a response you’re getting from the ‘conservative’ Christian crowd.

I don’t think strong government appeals as quite as much to cultural conservatives as it once did. Perhaps the lessons of George Delano are beginning to sink home. Much to my surprise, no one has written in to take virulent exception, and the general tone of even the skeptics is, yeah, that makes sense, but how do we handle property division, taxes, children etc. I suspect that the failure and subsequent perversion of the War on Drugs also plays a part in growing Christian distrust for government solutions.

Mailvox: Answering Mr. Brown

Christopher Brown raises a few points: 1. prayer is a hit and miss proposition since God may not have control over that for which we ask.

Prayer is a hit or miss proposition. I’ve prayed for things and haven’t received them. Haven’t you? Every prayer may be heard, but I don’t know anyone who believes every single prayer they’ve ever prayed has been answered. In Daniel, the evil spirit of the principality has the power to interfere with the prayer being answered for three weeks – who is to say he couldn’t do so indefinitely? Jesus also distinguishes between exercising our authority in the Earth and prayer requests when he tells the disciples that some demons may only be exorcised by prayer.

2. God promises eternal life (not merely long life)and yet, free men in heaven might choose to rebel. How then has God kept his word?

By giving them eternal life. You commit a logical fallacy by assuming eternal life and rebellion are mutually exclusive. You don’t know precisely what eternal life is, therefore you can’t say that it is impossible for free men in Heaven to rebel.

3. If God promises eternal life, and does not deliver because men in heaven have free will, then what?

Same fallacy as in point 2.

4. Then the Bible is unreliable. Then what?

False conclusion based on previous fallacy.

6. If the bible is unreliable then, vox is a liar, for he claims it has authority as a reliable book. Then what?

False conclusion based on previous fallacy.

7. If vox is a liar, we should not believe his goofy theories.

Believe what you want. God permits you to, how can I not follow His example.

Those who worship dogma

Anonymous writes of The Passion of the Christ: Yes, somebody didn’t want this film to be made – God. But since He is gracious and slow to anger he lets man “get away” with enough sin until the cup is full and then the judgement follows.

Yes, I can see where telling millions of people about Jesus Christ and the good news of his death and resurrection is something that the Christian God would wish to prevent. What god do you worship anyhow – besides your own dogma? I’m seriously beginning to wonder if these angry devotees of predestination are Satan worshippers or something. They sure seem to hate Christianity and Christians, especially those who dare to be open about their faith.

Arminian theology is sub-Christian because it denies God of His sovereign right. It places the autonomous man in a position of ultimacy. It basicially believes the autonomus will of man decides for himself if he will be saved or damned. But those take all of the Scriptures into account know that it is God who makes men to differ. This blog is a case in point of how corrupt the church has become. Those who willfully propogate wrong theology will have more to answer for on that day.

This is totally absurd. Elevating theological correctness above Jesus Christ, baptism and the great commandments strikes me as nothing but the actions of a modern-day Pharisee. To say that because an individual doesn’t buy into a specific human interpretation – often an illogical and unimaginative interpretation at that – of the Bible, they are sub- non- or anti-Christian is ridiculous. Jesus Christ told his disciples to follow him, to share the good news, feed the poor, heal the sick and raise the dead. I don’t recall him saying anything about being theologically correct, though perhaps I missed the bit where Jesus said that unless you believe with your heart and confess with your tongue that his Father murdered a young father of three with cancer, you will not be saved. It’s intriguing to see how these champions of dogma are now openly opposing a) a movie preaching the Gospel, b) a columnist who occasionally preaches the Gospel, c) honest intellectual inquiry.

Paul wrote that he didn’t care if a man was preaching the Gospel solely out of greed and ambition, so long as the Gospel was preached. But what was good enough for the Apostle is apparently not good enough for these men.

It is said that by their fruits you shall know them. And what fruits, exactly, come from encouraging Christians to sit on their butts doing nothing, believing that they have no free will, no individual responsibility for their decisions and that they are helpless before the evil of the world, which is all inflicted by God anyhow? Dogmatic predestinationers like to talk about God hardening men’s hearts; I wonder if they ever consider that the hearts being hardened might be theirs?

Mailvox: know your metric

EB asks: You have the figure of our current divorce rate at “4.9 per 10,000”. That would be a divorce rate of only .05%. Shouldn’t it be more like 49%?

I don’t think so. The number, as I understand it, was the number of divorces per 10,000 population. You appear to be thinking in terms of number of divorces per marriage. Needless to say, the vast majority of people don’t get married or divorced every year. For example, there were 15,000 divorces in Minnesota two years ago out of a population of 5 million. If the divorce rate were 49 percent of the population, that would mean that almost everyone in the state got divorced with about 2.4 million divorces, 160 times more than actually occurred. I have seen some conflicting statistics which say the current rate is 4.1 per 1,000 – obviously someone misplaced a zero somewhere, though I don’t know who.

In any event, it’s the rate of change that is the pertinent point in today’s column. I’m not an expert on divorce statistics.

Mailvox: What else floats? Churches!

Gadrial writes: Why is the government involved in the marriage contract ? I don’t see the Devil here, however I see a revenue generator that never ends. First you get them married and make them pay, if they have problems and want a divorce they must pay again, and if they have children they are fighting over they must pay again to see who gets the brats. Marriage is nothing more than retail storefront for the STATE. Your right the church was in charge of this for at least 6,000 years, but the Church was also the government, so your argument that it would be any different seems more like fantasy than reality. The Church has proven itself over the centuries to be just as corrupt and slimy as all Governments today. A world with less or none of the other would be ideal.

Two problems with this theory. One, marriage has been around for all of recorded history, while the Church has been around for only 2,000 years. Nor was it the government for most of that time, except in the Papal States and in post-Henry VIII England where it was only a State agency. I agree that the Church has been seriously problematic at times, but I submit that this has primarily been when it assumed State responsibilities and was corrupted as the State always is and does.

Second, the State did not begin its interference with American marriage in pursuit of revenue, but information. Information – registration – is necessary for control, and control is required to exercise State power. Money is actually of little interest to the State, as long as it can create it out of thin air. This is nothing new, indeed, it was first discovered in the modern era by the colony of Massachusetts, and taken to an extreme by the colony of Rhode Island until the British government cracked down these financial shenanigans. State control of marriage and children is one of the many factors required for totalitarian rule, which is why it should be rejected by wise conservatives who understand the danger inherent in attempting to use the State to enforce any morality, traditional or otherwise.

What the State gives, the State can and will take away. What the State touches, it will destroy.

Cutting down the black robes

RY writes: There is much angst and hand wringing over our run-away Supreme Court. All the talking heads on talk radio ask what can be done. No one seems to know that the court’s wings can be clipped without resorting to a constitutional amendment: Article III section 2: (operative section) …In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as Congress shall make. Clearly, Congress can by law set the limits on the Court’s jurisdiction. This has some important implications. Constitutional amendments are not necessary for the will of Congress and the people to be asserted. Please research Article III section 2 and it’s implications for one of your up coming articles.

Good point. Definitely something to look into.

Good luck with that

Thomas Sowell writes in the Wall Street Journal: Many economic issues are complex, but sometimes a single fact will tell you all you need to know. When you know that central planners in the Soviet Union had to set 24 million prices–and keep adjusting them, relative to one another, as conditions changed–you realize that central planning did not just happen to fail. It had no chance of succeeding from the outset. It is a wholly different ball game when hundreds of millions of people individually keep track of the relatively few prices they need to know for their own decision-making in a market economy.

And yet my idiot Economics 101 professor – who actually wrote the textbook – said: “you plan your day, you plan your week, why on Earth would you not plan your national economy?” He wasn’t too happy when I raised my hand and explained that the reason you would not is that the number of variables and interested parties was orders of magnitude higher, hence the Austrian concept of the impossibility of socialist calculation which had only been around for something like fifty years. Needless to say, I was not the class pet.